Brian Sanches came into spring training in 2006 hoping to win a spot in the Phillies' bullpen. He never really had a serious shot, but he did find himself in the majors later in the season and struggled through 18 appearances with the club. This spring, Sanches is again hoping to win a spot in the bullpen, but isn't looked at as being too serious of a contender. There is always the chance that he'll get the call later in the season like he did last year, but he's going to have to take better advantage of any opportunities that come his way.
Most scouts believe that Sanches has the potential to help in a major league bullpen, but not necessarily to be a major part of the pen. His minor league numbers have always looked good and he has plenty of potential and it's now time for Sanches to show that he's ready and warrants a full-time job.
Brian Sanches' career stats
Acquired: Traded to the Phillies by the San Diego Padres on April 1, 2004. The Padres had acquired him from the Kansas City Royals in August of 2003 in a deal that sent Rondell White to Kansas City. The Royals had drafted Sanches in the second round of the 1999 Draft.
Pitching: Sanches started him minor league career as a starter, but didn't have enough quality pitches to last in that role. He's got a good fastball that he generally keeps down in the zone - although that was a major problem last season with the Phillies - and needs to keep moving to be effective. That was his undoing in Philadelphia and he found out quickly that if you don't have good location and movement on your fastball, major league hitters are going to hit it a long way. Sanches also has pretty good control and also relies heavily on that.
Projection: Sanches has some talent and could help in the majors once he gets used to the hitters. He was admittedly nervous pitching with the Phillies last season and got himself into trouble. Hopefully for Sanches, he'll get a second chance. He doesn't have overwhelming stuff and isn't going to be a big piece of the puzzle near the back end of the bullpen, but he could find himself helping a club as a middle inning reliever who can get a team to their setup guys. The odds of Sanches making the team out of spring training aren't very good, but he'll be good insurance to have at Triple-A Ottawa in 2007.